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Wayne Theatre Alliance

Mission: The Wayne Theatre Alliance’s (Wayne Theatre) mission is to enhance the artistic, cultural, and economic life of Waynesboro and the region through the operation of the Historic Wayne Theatre and Ross Performing Arts Center.

Community Need: The Wayne Theatre serves a regional audience by providing a performance and event venue that allows for a large variety of services for the community to enjoy. The arts education programming includes live performances that give youth an opportunity to experience shows in a professional theatre setting. The summer class and workshop program for children of all ages explores theatre techniques through song, dance and improvisation that culminate in a live audience performance. The organization’s activities include a Classic Movie Series, a History, Health and Science Lecture Series that include topics of local and regional interest. The Wayne also offers a family friendly series and a faith in film series. All lectures and movies are “pay what you will” to encourage people of all economic means to attend. The exhibition gallery on the balcony level provides an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the visual arts while they are attending events and performances with four rotating exhibits a year.

Primary Activities: The Ross Center at the Historic Wayne Theatre is a regional performing arts center that presents cultural and educational programming. The Theatre is available to the public, community, and civic organizations for meetings, rentals and events.

Constituents Served: The Theatre’s service area includes the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Albemarle, and Nelson. They provide programming and services to any member of the public who wishes to attend a free event, exhibit opening, or movie, purchase a ticket for a performance, or rent one of the spaces available in the theatre.  In 2017, there were 28,221 tickets purchased with an estimated 25,000 plus attending non ticketed for programming and events totaling 53,221 participants.  Of that number approximately 8,000 were K-12 students, 15,000 attendees for family programming, and 10,000 were 65 or older.

Program Details:  The Theatre completed the restoration of the building and opened in March of 2016.  Yet, there were several important capital projects that could not be completed due to lack of funding.  To provide a safe environment for operations on the stage, there is a need to invest in a fly rail system.  The fly and weight system functions as the mechanism for lifting scenery and curtains off the stage floor. In a normal operation of a fly rail system a “backbone” supports the weights as they move up and down to counterbalance the weight of the scenery/curtains. Their system does not have this backbone. Without the backbone the weights swing in all directions as they move up and down. As a result, the mechanism is moving out of alignment and as the weights swing, the turn locks hit every time the system moves up and down. There is the risk of the weight falling off their plates and dropping onto the operator, other people, scenery or props. The average weight of each is 200 lbs. and this creates a hazard for anyone operating the system or actors and technicians that might be close to the operation of the fly rail.  So far, they have raised $15,000 of the approximate $43,441 needed for the stage equipment renovations.

Amount Requested: $10,000

Operating Budget: $510,000

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